Home Bitcoin News Bitcoin Scam Words of warning from man bilked out of $200K by Bitcoin scam

Words of warning from man bilked out of $200K by Bitcoin scam

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Cryptocurrency creeps maintain harassing Mississauga man lengthy after draining his checking account

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Even because the shutter clicked, his cellphone stored beeping.

Messages from the scammers that bilked Mississauga’s Glen Rhodes out of almost $200,000 nonetheless gentle up the 45-year-old recreation developer’s cellphone, insisting that simply one extra fee will likely be sufficient to return his cash.

“We simply have to have the transporter to ship it to type all this out so let me know,” learn the scammer’s 7:13 p.m. message on Wednesday night whereas I used to be busy taking pictures for this column.

“I can contact the driving force when you bought the funds prepared already.”

Rhodes, a good friend since highschool, laughed regardless of himself.

“They’re relentless,” he sighed with a resigned however dejected grin.

Text messages sent by scammers during the photo shoot for this article
Textual content messages despatched by scammers through the picture shoot for this text Picture by Bryan Passifiume /Toronto Solar

He actually doesn’t match the profile of any person who’d fall for one thing like this, however fall he did — and exhausting.

“It wasn’t simply trivial,” he stated. “I misplaced all the pieces.”

In January, Glen was getting ready to face a brand new chapter in his life.

Newly single and handed a cheque for his share of a recently-sold home, his ideas turned to funding.

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“I’d heard nice issues about bitcoin,” he stated of the bullish cryptocurrency attracting scores of would-be traders.

Finding an internet cryptocurrency company, an preliminary US$4,000 funding netted a fast and tidy revenue.

“I used to be like, ‘Wow … this actually works,’” he recalled.

However as his supposed returns grew, so did a gnawing, pit-of-his-stomach feeling that one thing wasn’t proper.

Then, final month, all the pieces began to collapse.

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DON’T SEND ANY MORE MONEY

As his income piled up, so did the justifications when he tried to money out.

WhatsApp conversations with the scammers present excuses piled upon excuses — guarantees of a PayPal transaction become containers of money delivered to his house.

“He got here involved with the customized police who interrupted bundle and demanded insurance coverage paperwork,” got here one message, requesting $10,000 to free the cash from impoundment.

“In an effort to get my a reimbursement, it price me cash,” Glen advised me. “They might simply put up roadblocks, left proper and centre.”

And it began to essentially chip away at his checking account.

Messages wove tales of couriers detained at Canadian airports, and drivers pulled over by police whereas en-route with the cash — with frantic requests for cash to pay the bribe demanded by the officers.

“And I’m like … ‘In Canada?’” Glen stated incredulously.

Then got here this message in mid-February: “It’s a rip-off, don’t ship any more cash.”

The supposed ‘good Samaritan’ then promised to get his a reimbursement — offered he ship $500.

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However by then, Glen was on the finish of his highway.

“I regarded in my account, and I’m down to simply $3,000,” he stated, his voice breaking.

“At that time, it’s desperation.”

A GROWING TREND

“Day by day.”

That’s how Peel Regional Police Det. Andre Lewin, of the fraud bureau, answered me once I requested what number of instances like these come throughout his desk.

With Bitcoin making headlines and breaking information, scammers have been fast to capitalize.

And regardless of widespread perceptions, it’s not simply seniors that fall for on-line bitcoin scams.

“Cryptocurrency has created a brand new manner of perpetrating scams,” Lewin stated.

And since cryptocurrency isn’t backed by the Canadian Deposit Insurance coverage Centre (CIDC,) would-be traders are on their very own if their offers go bitter.

As soon as the cash’s gone, it’s gone.

And whereas Lewin isn’t dealing with Glen’s case, he stated they’re noticing that greenback quantities of cash misplaced to scammers is on the rise.

When Glen went to the police, he was advised his almost $200,000 loss was one of many largest they’d come throughout.

‘DON’T THINK BE LESS STRESSFUL’

The scammers aren’t letting up on Glen, who on Thursday morning despatched me the 10 messages he obtained in a single day.

“Don’t suppose be much less disturbing okay,” learn one despatched at 3:35 a.m.

“So we will likely be anticipating your suggestions on the fee so we are able to proceed thanks.”

Glen doesn’t know who the scammers are, however the proof factors in the direction of the African nation of Cameroon — an rising nexus of crypto schemes.

In the meantime, Glen’s left choosing up the items.

He’s set up a GoFundme, however he needs others to study from his errors.

“They’re professionals,” he stated. “They know precisely what to do and what to say, the con pulls you in and carries you off.”

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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